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  • Writer's pictureSheena Philipose

Easter Special: Savory Hot Cross Buns!

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

One a penny

Two a penny

Hot cross buns!

We all know the rhyme, but did you know that Christians associate hot cross buns with the Easter holiday and the resurrection of Jesus? The cross on top of the bun represents Jesus' crucifixion, while the spices symbolize the embalming before his burial.

I've never been a big fan of the traditional buns, and neither is anyone at home so I thought I'd add a savory twist with jalapeno, cheddar cheese, and garlic and herbs. Do give them a try this Easter and let me know what you think about this spin on a classic.

Here's a short video showing how I made it:


Savory Hot Buns

Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Servings: 20


  • 200 ml lukewarm milk

  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened

  • 14 g or 4 Tsp dried yeast

  • 1 Tsp sugar

  • 455 g all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 large egg

  • 220g cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1/2 Tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder (optional)

  • 4-5 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine

  • 1 cup parsley, chopped fine

  • 20 small cubes of cheddar cheese blocks (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp plain flour

  • 1 egg for the egg wash


  1. Activate the yeast: Warm the milk in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, add the sugar and then the yeast. Keep it aside to bloom/activate- if it doesn't become bubbly/frothy, try again.

  2. In a big bowl, sift together the flour, garlic powder (if using), and salt. Add the chopped jalapeños, parsley, and grated cheese. Add the softened butter and mix until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the beaten egg and the bloomed yeast mixture and keep mixing until it comes together to form a dough.

  3. Pat the dough with a little oil, then cover and keep aside until it doubles (about 2 hours).

  4. Once the dough has risen, knead it again for a few minutes and divide it into equal pieces about 20 rolls, or 16 if you want bigger rolls.

  5. Grease and line a large baking tray. Roll each ball and flatten to form a small disc, then place a block of cheddar cheese in the center and roll to form a tight ball, evenly spacing them out on the tray as you go.

  6. Cover the balls with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/370F.

  8. Brush the buns lightly with the egg wash (beaten egg + a bit of water).

  9. Place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix until it forms a thick paste.

  10. Gently pat down the risen buns then use the flour paste to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.

  11. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm on its own or with a spiced chutney!

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